I’ve taken a position at a raw pet food store and I’m reading up everything I can about raw food, raw feeding, etc. It’s a lot of information to take in. I’m trusting to my considerable obsession with dogs and anything to do with dogs to carry me through.
So far, most of the studies I’ve found on raw pet food have to do with the level of Salmonella and bacteria they can carry and its transmission. Opinions are divided, with natural feeding advocates and veterinarians butting heads. “Raw is natural!” “Raw is dangerous!” “Raw is healthiest!” “Commercial dog foods have decades of science behind them!” “Natural feeding!” “Feeding based on science!”
It makes sense to me that a diet of fresh food (I view food frozen upon processing to be ‘fresh’ in terms of the nutrients that are preserved by immediate freezing) would be preferable over a diet of kibble, if circumstances allow. I don’t eat nutrition bars at every meal. I’m told that a diet comprised of mainly fresh food and light on the processed, refined crap that I love so well is the best way to go if I ever want to make the acquaintance of my old jeans again. Then again, I’m not a dog.
However, these opinions are not formed on cold scientific fact; they are formed from what I’ve observed. I’m well aware that the human mind is sometimes its own worst enemy, with confirmation bias being something that one must ever guard against if a thorough examination of the available evidence is to be successfully undertaken.
SkeptVet states that recent studies have not indicated that raw feeding is significantly better than feeding a high-quality kibble. He does note in another blog post on raw cat diets that any diet high in moisture may be better for cats. I like SkeptVet because he really looks at the available evidence and draws conclusions based on it.
Anecdotal evidence is shaky at best when it comes to ascertaining whether a raw diet is ‘better’ than a kibble diet. What I’m going with right now is the evidence based on Tierce’s forays into the raw fed world: his poops are smaller and there’s less of them and his coat is looking pretty good. As we march towards the dread month of May, which is when his allergies start to act up, I’ll be interested to see if a raw diet has any effect on them.